B.C. Conservative leader John Cummins

Conservatives want to open up beer and wine sales

Party leader John Cummins says a B.C. Conservative government would allow beer and wine to be sold in grocery and convenience stores.

A B.C. Conservative government would allow grocery and convenience stores across the province to sell beer and wine, says leader John Cummins.

Cummins made the announcement in Kelowna Tuesday, standing in the the Glenmore IGA grocery store with the three Central Okanagan Conservative candidates by his side—Mike McLoughlin (Kelowna-Mission), Graeme James (Kelowna-Lake Country) and Brian Guillou (Westside-Kelowna).

Cummins said British Columbians deserve more choice where it comes to where they can buy beer and wine and that’s why he feels it’s important to increase the number of locations where those products are available for purchase. He added the convenience of being able to buy beer and wine where one buys groceries and other food items just makes sense.

Asked for his definition of a convenience store, Cummins said it could be anything from large supermarket to a small corner store.

“I don’t see the need to restrict any class of store,” he said.

Part of the reasoning for opening up sales of beer and wine in B.C. is to take what Cummins called “special interests” out of liquor sales. He described the government as a special interest group when it comes to liquor sales.

Asked about the potential loss of revenue to the province by such a move, Cummins said the  provincial Liquor Distribution Branch would still play a part because it would handle the distribution of beer and wine to the stores, just as it now does for provincial liquor stores and existing beer and wine stores.

Under the Liberals, the number of beer and wine stores across the province has increased greatly in the last 10 years, a move that concerned some communities when the rules regarding how close such stores had to be from one another were relaxed.

The Liberals have made other moves to loosen up B.C. liquor laws, including allowing restaurant patrons to bring their own bottles of wine to have with a meal.

“We believe in getting B.C. back to basics, and that means putting more decision-making abilities in the hands of local British Columbians,” said Cummins. “We’ll make life more convenient and affordable for British Columbians, and help grow the economy by removing restrictions on the sale of beer and wine in convenience stores.”

The Conservatives’ announcement was welcomed by the owner of the grocery store in which Cummins spoke.

Kevin Kothlow described B.C. liquor laws as “antiquated,” and said it’s about time the province allowed the sale of beer and wine at grocery and convenience stores.

“We are so far behind (with liquor regulations) in B.C., it’s ridiculous,” said Kothlow. “This will be a convenience for everyone.”

He said he did not anticipate any problems with the requirement that store employees see proper identification from people buying beer and wine because they already have to do that in order to sell tobacco.

“I think it’s great,” he said of the announcement.

But not everyone may be happy.

McLoughlin said he gave Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray and a group of young entrepreneurs a heads up about the announcement earlier in the day and said while the young people at the meeting thought it was a great idea, Gray was much less enthusiastic.

“He was  a little reluctant about it,” said McLoughlin of Gray’s reaction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Lightning strikes West Kelowna condo

Fire crews were called to a building on Carrington Road Tuesday night

UPDATE: Smoke rising from Okanagan Mountain Park hills

Lightning may have sparked a fire in the hills across from Peachland

Lightning strikes across B.C. Interior

Residents are being asked to go inside until last rumble of thunder

Update: Lightning sparks blaze above Summerland

Firefighters are battling the small fire from the area that occurred Tuesday shortly after 7 p.m.

UPDATE: Crews battle wildfire near Big White Road

Joe Rich Fire Department responding alongside Big White Fire Department and provincial crews.

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Lightning sparks wildfires in Vernon

Tuesday night storm causes wildfire in BX and residential fire in East Hill

Crash closes Highway 5A in both directions

A collision has shut down Highway 5A about 22 kilometres south of the junction with Highway 97C

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Pike Mountain fire continues to grow – quadruples in 24 hours

Fire threatens area consumed in 2017 by a 3,500 hectare blaze

Vernon Knights hire Van Horlick

New head coach of Junior B franchise in Armstrong

St. Albert knocks down Canadians

Finals of Valley of the Champions

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Most Read